Author: KingdomHelper (Page 2 of 4)

Until YOU Believe…

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A Prodigal Princess is a book that was recently released by Pastor Adara Butler. She shares her testimony on how she ran from her calling but ultimately came to Christ and her journey along the way.

As I navigated the pages of the book, I was able to identify with a lot of what Adara shares, because I too, dealt with an identity crisis early in my walk. So much so that I dealt with relationships God never told me to walk into and developed ungodly habits, but through the blood of Jesus, I have accepted forgiveness and learned to move on with my life.

When I came across the following words, it hit my spirit like the first time I realized it for myself:

“…no matter how many people tell you that you are beautiful or special, those are just empty words until you believe who you are.” 

For many years of my life, people would say such nice things to me like how beautiful they think I am, or other personal attributes like having a sweet spirit. I would say thank you, without really realizing the words that were being spoken to me.

I can’t remember when that moment of truth was, but at some point I really started to believe for myself that I am beautiful. And that the beauty starts in my heart, not from the outside. I came to understand that people would say I have a sweet spirit because that’s the vibe they got in their interaction with me. I started to believe that I AM a good person. I started to walk in the understanding that my creator knew what He was doing when He chose to put me here, and the best thing I could do is embrace it and walk in it, because running from it was going to cause more harm than good.

Unlike Adara, I didn’t have a two parent home with mom and dad; my parents never married. And now, the only parent that I truly had is with the Lord.

I didn’t make that comment to bash my mother or make her out to be a bad person. She is still in the process of being delivered. My point is that I didn’t have the same foundation. The dynamic of my family life was dysfunctional and unstable. But even with the stability of a great foundation, Adara and I both battled similar issues. One of which was the fact that we both had an identity crisis.

Some people have the idea that in order to go through such things, you had to have a certain background or circumstances. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The enemy can attack anyone who has a purpose and a calling on their life, no matter who you are or where you’re from. God can choose whomever he’d like. It doesn’t have anything to do with your upbringing.

But God led me to take it a step further as those words resonated with me. I realized that the concept of what you believe about yourself applies to anything that is being said to you. Until you believe something for yourself, you will not experience the full realm of the manifestation of that thing.

Until I believed that I was a manager on my job, on the very basic and foundational level, I couldn’t really operate as a manager. I couldn’t see past being a peer to my employees.

Until I believed that I was creative, I didn’t understand the gift that God had deposited in me. I have since discovered that I love to play with colors. From painting to interior decorating to thrift shopping, I have discovered something so great about myself and I have learned to embrace it.

Until I believed that God had a plan for my life, I was afraid to walk away from things that He never told me to pick up. As hard as it was to let go after all of the logic I kept trying to convince myself of, I had to come to understand that it was supernatural, and that my logic paled in comparison to what God was trying to show me. God had greater works he wanted to do through me and I had to let go of what I thought was best and embrace what God was showing me.

On the flip side, the reverse is true. you choose what you receive regarding what others speak to you.

I have had this conversation with my daughter: People can say whatever they want to you, but it is ultimately your choice whether you believe or receive the things that are spoken to you. I have bound and rebuked things spoken to me that I don’t receive or believe about myself. Note that there is a difference between accepting constructive criticism and receiving or believing flat out negativity about yourself. For example, it’s one thing for me to be told that my demeanor makes me unapproachable. It is another thing to be told that I’m a mean person because my demeanor isn’t received well. I can learn how to have a more positive demeanor, but lack of a positive demeanor doesn’t mean that I have an intention to be mean to anyone.

I am not even halfway through Adara’s book, and I’m receiving so much fresh revelation. I can hardly wait to see what other evoking thoughts will come of this.  I highly recommend this book. You can order the digital version here, or the paperback version here.

I pray that these words have been a blessing to you.

Living to leave a legacy

In the days after my father’s passing, I quickly learned to accept what happened. Although it was a sudden thing, I don’t like to call it untimely, because God already knew.

I felt that God was preparing me for the news I was about to receive as I was on the way to the hospital. As I rushed out the doors of my job, I said, “Lord, you know that I pray for your will, but I don’t want this to be bad. I want my daddy to be ok.” Minutes later, as I was at the traffic light near the hospital, a yellow butterfly flew into my line of vision, and I felt a level of peace that I cannot describe. I knew this feeling and what it meant, but again, I spoke to the Lord, “I don’t want that to be it. I want my daddy…”.

This was the same peace I felt nearly a year before when one of my faithful servant friends had passed away. 

I knew before I even got the news from the officials, that daddy’s spirit was with the Lord.

There’s an old saying that you can’t “preach” people into heaven. As the days following came and went, I wanted to be sure that I wasn’t believing my dad went to be with the Lord, just because it was a consoling thought, so I prayed, “Lord, if my daddy is really with you, confirm it.”

My God! It has been an amazing two weeks to see what God is showing me. As I was standing in the cemetery with an employee who was giving me information regarding the burial process, she took me over to a space that she said she didn’t really recommend, but that it was a nice spot. As I looked around, I saw these bugs flying, and I asked, “What are those??”

“Dragonflies.” she said.

I lost it. That unspeakable peace came over me again, and those dragonflies were symbolic and a reminder of something God has spoken to me years prior.

Once we got back into the office to continue our discussion, it dawned on me that I had taken a picture near that same area where the dragonflies were, a little over 9 years ago.

Yes, a picture. I don’t know what made me take a picture in the cemetery that day, but I went and dug up that picture, and my heart was so full at God giving me a glimpse of my future, even as sad and melancholy as it turned out to be. The word tells us in Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” What a tremendous blessing, to be able to ask God something like that and not only get an answer, but get confirmation  over and over again. I have seen more dragonflies in the last couple of weeks than I have ever seen before. 

As the days continued to go by, I heard so many wonderful stories about my father, his character and how he lived his life. I was disappointed at having to grieve AND figure out how we were going to pay to have a funeral but I had joy in knowing that my dad left this place with a good name, and had a positive impact on family and friends.

In the days after his memorial service, a received a devotional titled “A Legacy Life”. It spoke to what my dad represented. It spoke of a man who had an amazing turnout for his funeral. It was thought that he was famous, but it turned out that he was just a good person.

“Just a good person” is an understatement. Being a good person bears more weight in the kingdom than having great riches or being famous. The devotional goes on to share this wisdom: “Live to leave a legacy for God’s glory.”

This is exactly what my father did. He wasn’t perfect by any means, but when he did his deeds, he did them from his heart, and not for anyone to see or to talk about. He lived his life serving others. He didn’t meet a stranger. He extended love and kindness no matter who you were.

I’m incredibly proud to continue that legacy.

It can be a challenge being genuine and generous in a society where selfishness is promoted, and generosity isn’t easily received. I have struggled with rejection, and also with knowing how to set boundaries in relationships. Many want to reap, but few want to sow. We must always be genuine, there’s no question there. We must also be generous, but we must be led by the Holy Spirit in sharing our gifts.

Matthew 7:6 says, “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.” (NKJV)

These words in red, spoken by Jesus, are referring to preaching the Gospel, however the same concept can be applied to learning how to identify how to share what we have been entrusted with. We must be more discerning rather than judgmental.

 As difficult as this process has been, I have pressed through and continued to walk in faith. I’m grateful for the things that have been revealed, and how it has brought me that much closer to my creator. I will continue to strive to make my dad proud, and carry on the legacy that he so effortlessly carried out. 

I pray that these words have been a blessing to you.

Why I believe…

Yes, I go to church.

But my faith is not determined by my church attendance. I’m a Christian whether I go to church or not. 

Church is not a building. It is on the inside of you and should manifest wherever you go, not just when you walk into a church building. 

My faith is not determined by how much I give or even whether I give at all. 

I’m a Christian whether I give a lot or a little. My giving is not dictated by what the preacher says I should give, but by what the Holy Spirit leads me to give. I give because it is God’s nature, so I cannot not give. It just doesn’t feel right. 

I don’t care what “history” says about whether Jesus existed, why or how his name does or doesn’t translate to English, or whether the pictures depict him as a white man or a black man. 

I love him, I have the Holy Spirit and there is nothing this world can do about that. 

The goal here is not to spark some discussion about religion to convince you that you’re “wrong” for not believing, but to share some insight on why I believe.
Telling you that you’re going to hell if you don’t believe probably won’t incite you to believe, especially if you don’t “believe” in hell anyway. My job is to share my faith and if you receive and believe, mission accomplished. If you don’t, then my prayer is that God would reveal himself to you in a way that you would be open and available to receive. 

Everyone has a choice to believe in something. I choose Jesus. 
It is my prayer that you would come to know Him too.

Be blessed.  

In Loving Memory of Rayfield Richardson Sr.

On the morning of August 1, 2016 our father, Rayfield Richardson Sr. was found to be unresponsive and was rushed to the emergency room. Daddy passed away around 11am due to a pulmonary embolism.

Our father was a faithful servant and man of God. Although he had physical limitations and was deemed disabled, he had a great love for cars, and worked part time as a mechanic. Daddy graciously accepted whatever payment his clients were able to offer in exchange for the work that he did for them. He expressed that it wasn’t about the money, but that he just appreciated being able to help people out. We love our daddy for his heart to serve people, and will continue to carry that legacy.

Among many, he leaves to cherish his memory: his wife of 26 years, Latonja Richardson, his two children, Erica Anderson Thomas, Rayfield Richardson Jr, and one “grandbaby” (as he affectionately called her) Miss Brooklyyn Thomas.

We would like to thank our family and friends who have been praying for and encouraging us as we are a pulling through. We know that daddy is in a better place, and we will meet again.

With Love,

Erica and Rayfield Jr.

 

Why I share my faith

I-see-the-cross-christianity-30262685-1365-1024Last night, God made me really understand that I was built for this, and that he purposed me to share my faith and that it WILL impact people.

I was on an Uber ride with a young lady who was surprised that I was able to hold it together less than a week after the passing of my dad. She shared that she was angry with God for taking her mom away from her, and that she had stopped going to church as a result.

I explained that God doesn’t make mistakes and that as difficult as it is, when we lose a loved one, we have to trust God’s plan. I told her that God would meet her wherever and whenever she chose to go, but that she had to be open to hear from him. The next thing out of her mouth touched my heart.

She said, “Your strength gives me strength. I don’t understand how you do it, but you’ve inspired me. I’m going back to church.” She went on to explain that it was the first time she really felt like she could go back to church.

This weekend has been full of people sharing with me how my faith inspires them.

One person kept saying thank you for something I did for them, emphasizing that I didn’t understand what it meant to them that I would extend myself when their own family wouldn’t.
Understand this: As a child of God, he will use whatever or whoever he wants to make things come to pass for you. God knows every detail of your life, and if he chose to use me (or whomever), then I’m just a vessel, and GOD gets the glory for making that happen for you. I can’t take credit for that. Also understand this: I am BLESSED. Beyond blessed!! It’s not about material things. Having the measure of faith that I do is what undergirds me to be an inspiration to others. I cannot share faith that I don’t have. Just the thought of that overwhelms me, so I’ll just move on….

I don’t share what I think will make you believe that this is a walk in the park. It’s not. I choose to be positive and look at the bright side of things. When things are ugly or seem to be out of control, I trust that the God that created me, put the very breath in my body and allowed me to live this life, has already got a plan and a solution.

Yes, sometimes I worry. But I remember, “God is in control.” He’s watching and he knows. Anyone who does wrong to me? He’s watching and he knows. When I get out of line or fall from grace? He’s watching and he knows. He covers me, protects me and holds me accountable. He’s a good, good father.

Like the young lady who got in my car last night, I got angry this week about my dad not being here anymore. But God reminded me that I had the opportunity to reconcile with my dad after a 13 year gap of not seeing or hearing from him.

Yes. You read that correctly.

I had the opportunity to get back in contact with my dad. I forgave him and cleared my heart of any negative feeling I had, because God led me to do it. My dad and I had the opportunity to talk about his absence in my life, and he not only apologized and gave an explanation, but he received my forgiveness and we moved on with our lives together. I am ok 6 days later because my father and I had PEACE when he took his last breath. This doesn’t mean that I’ll never cry another tear. But I have been able to maintain my peace. I know that my dad is with the Lord. I will certainly miss my daddy, but my point is that I’m strong because I lean on God’s strength. There are even moments when I’m just not feeling it and God’s strength reaches to ME and undergirds me. Don’t ask me how lol. I just walk in peace because God gives me the reassurance that everything is ok.

If I have been an inspiration to you, thank you for being open to receive what I share. The enemy HATES it, but I will always prevail because I am covered.
I pray that these words have been a blessing to you.

Sorry, not sorry

Last week I posted a meme with the words from Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I was sharing that this needs to be the foundation of our confidence. Our confidence MUST be rooted in God. When our confidence is not rooted in God, it wavers. As a matter of fact, anything we do or attempt will not last, if we are not rooted in God. I know that all to well.

There is a song called Confidence by Tasha Cobbs. Her delivery of the song speaks to a level of faith that we all should strive for.

“I’ve got so much faith in you, Lord I trust your word is true
No matter the circumstance, my life is in your hands
I’ve got confidence, so much confidence, in you…”

Whatever we choose to put our confidence in is what will drive and develop us. What comes to mind is how as teenagers, we often sought after approval and acceptance. Those whom we chose to follow or identify with, we put our confidence in them. We shared common interests, hobbies and even habits. We become who we connect with. This is just as true for adults.

Of course, this could go good or bad, and because as life happens, this is when we may (or may not) learn valuable life lessons. You cannot let your confidence be rooted in people. You cannot let your confidence be rooted in money. You cannot let your confidence be rooted in things. ALL of these things will pass away.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord.” Jeremiah 17:7

When we realize who we are in God, we don’t have to seek acceptance or approval from anyone or anything. God has already accepted and approved us when he created us. You must own that, and be unapologetic about being a child of God. There is nothing that anyone can say or do to take away the fact that you are a child of God. Absolutely nothing. It is my prayer that as you grow in your walk, you will walk in who God created to to be. People may challenge it, but they certainly can’t change it without your consent.

Stay rooted in God. He will never let you down. I pray that these words have been a blessing to you.

Are you available?

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One Saturday evening , my daughter and I had just left a wedding rehearsal where she was a flower girl. We were overflowing with excitement, anticipating the impending nuptials. As we rode through the country back roads of Georgia, we marvelled at the beautiful homes on large plots of land, making plans for our own dream home.

Once we got back to our side of town, we decided to grab pizza for dinner. She is a foodie, so before we entered the restaurant, I established that we were on a $15 budget. She agreed, and we proceeded. Our server was a cheery young lady, engaging as though we were regular customers, although this was our first time there. As she finished taking our order, my daughter said, “Are we within the  budget, mommy?!” The server and I laughed as she said that she completely understood having to stick to the budget. We made small talk about buying houses and maintaining budgets. There was nothing out of the ordinary about our interaction.

We received our pizza and garlic knots, and everything was tasty. We wrapped it up and I asked for my tab. The server asked, “What was your budget again?” I smiled and looked at her suspiciously as I told her, “Fifteen dollars.” She grinned and walked away. Moments later, she came back and put the folded receipt in front of me.  I picked it up, and read off the items and found a total of $13.34 after a discount of a little over $4.00 was applied. My heart was filled and although it was a small amount, it was still a blessing in my eyes. It was a very thoughtful and considerate thing to do.

One thing that I love about being a child of God is that he does care about the details of our lives.  I believe he touched  her heart to meet my desire. As I prepared to leave, I felt a strong urge to leave her a little note. I declared a blessing over her life and invited her to church. Looking back, I think it was a better idea to tell her, but I couldn’t resist the urge to leave the note…after all, I am a writer 🙂

After leaving, I explained to my daughter that we never know the influence and impact we will have on someone’s life. It is my prayer that this server (whom I happened to not even get her name) knows the Lord. If she doesn’t, I feel like we were placed on the same path for that seed to be sown. We all have a purpose, and God will put people in your path to make sure your purpose is fulfilled, and for his glory. Dont miss the opportunity to be available, for someone’s deliverance is attached to your obedience, even if you don’t get to see it manifest.

I pray that these words have been a blessing to you.

Mondays…

 

keep-calm-and-love-monday

 

I’m reading a book called Progressive Thinking by Harold F. Grant. This book is so full of wisdom, and is evoking some great life changing thought processes for me.

The book is formatted in a way that references a day of the week for the first seven chapters. As I was reading the chapter titled “Motivational Mondays”, I came across something that reminded me of how I have conditioned myself to think about Mondays:

“Don’t be demotivated by a Monday moment. You have seen this day before, and it’s not how it’s looking at you that matters, but how you are looking at it.”

I love this!! You have seen this day many times before. This is about changing how you see it. Over the years, I have REFUSED to look at Monday as a bad day. Yeah, I know. It’s probably the job. You don’t want to go back. It could be your micro-managing boss, the jealous co-worker, your lack of pay or benefits…the list goes on. You just know you dread going back. But if you change the way you think about it, you could transform your Monday mornings into a more positive experience.

I think people often allow themselves to have such a negative outlook on their jobs because they look at the job as their source, rather than looking at God as the source. Your job is not your provider, God is. Understand that the job is what God provided as a resource, but if you lose that job, just like God gave you that one, he can give you another.

Another thing that causes people to have a negative outlook on their job situation is a lack of gratitude. It may be that this isn’t your ideal position or your dream job, but at the end of the day, you have something that many people don’t have: a job. You must learn to be grateful for what you do have, for there is always someone who is worse off than you.

Colossians 3:23-24 says,  “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” 

Start to operate as though you are doing what you do for God himself, and not your supervisor, manager or the CEO. Take on a grateful attitude and watch how this changes how you look at Mondays. Know that although you have seen this day many times before, you don’t have to look at it the same.

 If you would like to order a copy of Progressive Thinking, send an email to info.cimaruba@gmail.com.

I pray that these words have been a blessing to you. 🙂

Window of Heaven

Window of Heaven

 

It was on my heart this morning to share my journey with the Lord  when it comes to the subject of tithing. 

Yeah. I know. It’s a controversial issue across religious sectors. But it’s not so controversial to me. Do you want to know why?

Because I have seen what happens when you trust God with your tithe. 

Notice I did say TRUST GOD. 

Not your church. Not your Ushers. Not your Pastor. Trust God. 

 The bible tells us in Malachi 3:10:

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. 

I’m not concerned with it being “an old testament principle. The words “test me in this” just  resonates with me. In 2006, I decided I wanted to start tithing. It wasn’t easy at first. It felt like I was just paying another bill, because 10% felt like a lot to give up. But in my heart I just felt encouraged to do so. As far as I was concerned, it wasn’t just about receiving blessings. I honestly wanted to see just what God was going to do if I made the commitment to tithe. 

Over the years I felt the Lord leading me to try different things. My favorite example is when he encouraged me to tithe on the salary I wanted to make. Oh, this was certainly a stretch! This resulted in a test to pay nearly 20% ABOVE my actual tithe. 

But I did it. And God not only matched what I was believing him for, but he gave me more than what I was believing him for. It was simply amazing how it all happened. It was a package deal that reminds me of Amos 9:13. I was overtaken by what God had for me, for trusting him and being faithful. 

Now, clearly, my testimony is mine. What God has in store for you, is for YOU. I don’t get caught up in debating on paying 10% on gross pay versus net pay. That’s between you and God. 

But I’m here to share with you that God is faithful and will  blow your mind when you trust him. Your life, not just your finances will be blessed when you trust God with your tithe. I am blessed to have very good health and a sound mind, among other things. 

I encourage you to “test God”…after all, he implores you to in the text. I would love to see your testimonies roll in! Send them to akingdomhelper@yahoo.com. 

Be blessed! 

Reflections of Motherhood

As this Mother’s Day is coming to a close, I’m glad to take the time to reflect on what motherhood means to me. Each year I do this, and as I have evolved as a person, I see that I’m grateful for different aspects of motherhood, as time goes on.

I’ve seen many funny memes across social media platforms, citing the definitions and meanings of motherhood. My favorite is this:

Mom Job Description

Based on the life and adventures of my daughter and me, I have a few I would add:

Undercover Angel, Personal Prayer Warrior and Theme Park Bestie.

Motherhood covers a multitude of things, but one of the best and most important aspects is covering her, even when she doesn’t know or understand. Praying over her day, her thoughts, her path, and her life. Providing guidance through life’s difficulties like why it’s better to turn the other cheek, or understanding that honesty is the best policy even if you have to lose friends. Motherhood is about teaching her character over physical beauty, for it doesn’t matter how pretty you are, if you are mean and disrespectful to people. Being a “mean girl” is not okay, and I’ll never tolerate it.

On the flip side, we have to have a good work/play balance. One of our favorite pastimes is going to Six Flags. We bond on roller coasters! Yes I must teach her the fundamentals of being a woman of God, but that doesn’t have to mean she has to be bored! There’s nothing wrong with good, clean fun! If it happens to be a rainy day when we can’t enjoy the outdoors, we both really enjoy arts and crafts, especially playing with colors (nail polish in particular). It’s always a pleasure watching her express her creativity.

Today as I was reflecting on what motherhood is to me, the thing that stood out the most was just remembering to seize the moment. Between school, work and extracurricular activities, things can get hectic and of course, don’t always go as planned. But I have found that when I take the time to look into her eyes before we rush out of the door, kiss her little nose and wish her a good day, I have peace in knowing that our last interaction was a positive one. Or when she hurts herself, even at eight years old, she still wants mommy to kiss the bump or bruise, and then it’s all better. There is joy in knowing that my kisses have healing powers.

All in all, whether she is up or down, sick or well, happy or sad, I have learned to be conscious of our time together and to cherish these moments. I have always thought that time grew wings when she was born, and I refuse to let these moments slip by because I’m focused on temporary things. Part of our children’s self esteem comes from knowing that they are valued by their parents, and it is my goal to make sure she grows to be confident in who God has created her to be. And as always, I’m grateful to have been chosen to carry her; the gateway through which she entered this world.

I pray that these words have been a blessing to you. 🙂

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